Thursday, May 21, 2009

Comic layouts

One of my many, many tasks at 3twins is doing the comic layouts. I am not the only one who does this, but part of being the "big cheese" is making sure things get done, and if everyone else is too busy to do something, then I take that "thing" on myself.

Now, I'm not complaining, I actually like doing this, although, it is quite creatively taxing. You see, we write Hatman & Indigo in a script format because we have actors who come in and read the lines. However, since it is a comic book it needs to be layed out as such after the actors have read their lines. I know this is different than say, Marvel Comics, does it. But they don't have actors record audio for the characters, do they?

Anyhow, I take the script and break it down into pages and panels with little descriptions of how I see the panels in my head. Sometimes the artists actually follow those, other times they use them as a guideline. I call this part the "Text Layout".

We have a nifty little program called "Comic Life" its only $30 for the delux version and I highly recommend it for anyone even remotely interested in creating their own comics (there is a version for Mac as well as Windows). It is an incredibly helpful tool for drafting what I call the "Panel Layout".

For the Panel Layout, I put the script with the completed Text Layout on one monitor and Comic Life on another monitor. (I also highly recommend multiple monitors for anyone who would like to work in any type of media, it makes life so much easier, but if you don't like that sort of thing, it's your call. :) ) I read through the "Text Layout" and either choose from the many template layouts that come with "Comic Life", or tweak my own to fit the script. Sometimes, I realize that something won't really work the way I had layed it out in the script, so I tweak it a little bit. After I get the Panel Layout finished, I send it onto the artist who does the really magical part, the art.

I have a lot of these to do, right now, so instead of working on them, I blogged about it. I guess, my stalling is pretty much done and I'd better get to it, huh?


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